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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: February ::
RSC Revival
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.0397  Wednesday, 11 February 2004

[1]     From:   James Doyle <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 17:08:57 -0000
        Subj:   RSC Revival

[2]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 17:37:55 -0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.0372 RSC Revival

[3]     From:   David Lindley <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 19:19:35 -0000
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.0372 RSC Revival


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           James Doyle <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 17:08:57 -0000
Subject:        RSC Revival

I found Doran's RSC productions of Henry VIII and King John to be very
impressive.

Whereas in Julius Caesar I found Ian Hogg to be over satisfied with his
own star turn, in Henry VIII he made a very impressive and empathetic
Wolsey.

In King John, Jo Stone-Fewings blazed as the Bastard, but without taking
all the focus off the actor playing King John.  I actually hadn't
realized Doran directed this, but commented to my wife as we came out
that the actor playing John reminded me of a younger (and taller)
Anthony Sher...

James

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 17:37:55 -0000
Subject: 15.0372 RSC Revival
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.0372 RSC Revival

But, Al, anyone in UK theatre will tell you that the RSC will take a
long time to recover economically from the appalling 'own goal' (soccer
term) by quitting their London home at the Barbican. They now have NO
regular high-profile stage/dedicated space in London. The National
Theatre - their great rival, and anyone visiting London ought to do a
show at the National - is sweeping all before it.

The RSC are in a tricky situation. Don't clap too loud too soon: and
don't hold your breath. Let's see what the crits are for the upcoming
'tragedies' season! They will play to 100% of course, BUT, will that
just be Shakjunkies and tourists? That is what I think they are truly
scared of, whatever confident noises they are making. I mean, Judi Dench
in 'All's Well' is terrific, but frankly not all that big a deal in
terms of big names in big roles, is it? Many of the other leads on the
RSC summer menu are varieties of 'who?'.Not necessarily a recipe for
disaster at all, but many are largely unknown quantities in their
projected roles. Understudy season will attract all the critics. Clever
PR wheeze, or what!

Anyone travelling in and out of UK over a series of three years or so
might try to see any Shakespeare show by the Northern Broadsides
Company. Or stuff at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. Both
companies on a roll at the moment under visionary managements. [At
present, neither looks to be doing a Shakespeare in the next three
months, but they often do put one on for a summer / winter tour.] There
is also a much talked of new 'Macbeth' in the provinces but coming to
London well reviewed in a recent Guardian by the esteemed Michael
Billington.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           David Lindley <
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Date:           Tuesday, 10 Feb 2004 19:19:35 -0000
Subject: 15.0372 RSC Revival
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.0372 RSC Revival

Having seen all three of Doran's recent productions, and eagerly
awaiting the Othello, I can only agree that they have done much to
repair the RSC's reputation.  But perhaps the reasons for the revival go
deeper than that - I was speaking to an actor in the Dirty Duck after
seeing the Shrew/Tamer Tamed double bill, and he told me that he had not
worked at the RSC for a number of years, and had only been tempted back
because he felt that under the new management the whole company
atmosphere had changed.  Some of the credit must surely go to Michael
Boyd if he has indeed restored battered morale.

David Lindley

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